Call for Papers: “Troubled Institutions” at the RGS/IBG 2016

CALL FOR PAPERS for the Annual Conference of the Royal Geographical Society with Institute of British Geographers 2016, 30 August – 2 September 2016, London

Examining troubling institutions and geographies at the nexus of care and control

Convenors: Tom Disney (University of Birmingham) and Anna Schliehe (University of Glasgow)

Institutional spaces of care and control can be found in various settings, ranging from psychiatric establishments, centres of migrant detention, prisons, orphanages, but also encompassing environments such as schools or military academies. Building upon previous work into the geography of institutions and geography in institutions (Parr and Philo 2000: 514), we want to explore the complicated and sometimes opaque relationship between care and control. This CFP responds to recent calls in carceral geography (Moran and Turner, AAG 2016) and aims to explore the potential diversity of research in this area. The session intends to collect different perspectives on empirical and theoretical engagements with everyday life in institutional spaces, to examine the troubling relationship between care and control; where one is at risk of being transformed into the other (see Disney 2015, Schliehe 2014). Does care inevitably cede into control? To what degree does this trouble us? Do we wish to trouble our conceptualisation of care and control – shake the ideas from the Foucault’s and the Goffman’s back to life in these ever changing institutional landscapes or find new lenses to unpick these spaces? We are interested in wide ranging perspectives from different sub-fields to discuss this relationship, such as carceral geography, mental health geography, children’s geographies and architectural geography. We also welcome contributions from other disciplinary backgrounds such as criminology or arts-based research to explore innovative methodological approaches and interdisciplinary engagement with the nexus of care and control.

Papers are invited which explore:
• Institutional spaces where care and control are seen to intersect or collide
• Methodological approaches, ethics and researcher positionality
• Conceptual frameworks around institutional geographies
• Spatiality of places of care and control including tactics, agency and resistance
• Vulnerable and marginalised groups within institutional spaces of care and control, in particular in relation to age and gender
• Embodied experiences and corporeal practices
• Aspects of design and spatial practice
• Beyond the ‘traditional’ carceral environment – the boarding school, military environments, hospices, care homes

Deadline for submitting abstracts is Wednesday 10th February 2016

Please send abstracts up to a maximum of 250 words and proposed titles (clearly stating name, institution, and contact details) to Tom Disney ( and Anna Schliehe (

Dates: 30 August – 2 September 2016: Location: Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) and Imperial College London
Further details about the conference at: